Real estate lawyers build up portfolios of expertise

The Birmingham skyline dotted with cranes

The crane count remains healthy in Birmingham and the city’s lawyers have benefitted from a “steady real estate market”.

3 Arena Central, viewed from Bank Court

Their expertise has been used on HMRC’s relocation to 3 Arena Central and deals related to the scheduled arrival of HS2 in 2026 as part of a wide range of significant developments across the Midlands and nationally.

The international highlights include Eversheds Sutherland’s work on Iron Mountain’s purchase of a data centre in Singapore and Squire Patton Boggs’ role in a dispute over the construction of a military air base in Iraq.

It is Eversheds Sutherland that stand alone in tier one for commercial property teams in Birmingham, with “agenda-setting transactions” across the region, including HMRC’s pre-let and the acquisition and pre-let of the planned East Midlands Gateway rail freight terminal.

Mark Chester, Eversheds Sutherland

Its team has three of the 11 leading individuals in this category, while data centre specialist Mark Chester joined from Gowling WLG after 17 years.

Gowling WLG’s real estate team struggled in the Legal 500 rankings, with its commercial property team in Birmingham slipping down to tier two and its property litigation and social housing teams also dropping down a level into tier three.

Another recruit for Eversheds Sutherland was Laura Murphy, who left her role as legal director at Shakespeare Martineau. Her previous firm dropped down from from tier two to tier three in both planning and social housing.

Nick Green, Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs’ real estate team, which is led by office managing partner Nick Green, improved its rankings in two categories. It joined Gowling WLG at the top in construction and also moving up in property litigation, although its environment team lost a place. During the last year it has also lost Anne O’Meara to retirement and “next generation lawyer” Mohammed Alam to Hogan Lovells’ growing team.

Another departure, of Pinsent Masons’ head of development planning Rebecca Warren to developer Crest Nicholson last November, coincided with Pinsent Masons’ planning team dropping two levels to the third tier. Its construction and social housing teams also both slipped a place, into tier four.